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June 2015 North American Freight Numbers

Press Release Number: 
BTS 40-15
Date: 
Thursday, August 27, 2015
Media Contact: 
Dave Smallen, 202-366-5568

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Figure 1.  Percent Change in Value of U.S.-NAFTA Freight Flows by Mode: June 2014 - 2015

Table Version | Excel

Figure 1.  Percent Change in Value of U.S.-NAFTA Freight Flows by Mode: June 2014 - 2015

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, TransBorder Freight Data

The value of U.S.-NAFTA freight totaled $99.0 billion in June 2015 as all modes except truck carried less U.S.-NAFTA freight than in June 2014, according to the TransBorder Freight Data released today by theU.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) (Figure 1, Table 1). Year-over-year, the value of U.S.-NAFTA freight flows by all modes decreased by 3.8 percent. Large decreases in the value of NAFTA trade by pipeline and vessel in June were due to the reduced unit price of mineral fuel shipments.

Freight by Mode

In June 2015 compared to June 2014, the value of commodities moving by truck increased by 5.1 percent, while rail decreased by 4.5 percent and air by 8.9 percent (Figure 1, Table 2). Vessel freight values decreased by 24.4 percent and pipeline freight decreased by 40.0 percent mainly due to the lower unit price of mineral fuel shipments.

Trucks carried 65.0 percent of U.S.-NAFTA freight and are the most heavily utilized mode for moving goods to and from both U.S.-NAFTA partners. Trucks accounted for $33.2 billion of the $53.8 billion of imports (61.6 percent) and $31.2 billion of the $45.2 billion of exports (69.0 percent) (Table 2).

Rail remained the second largest mode by value, moving 14.9 percent of all U.S.-NAFTA freight, followed by vessel, 7.0 percent; pipeline, 5.0 percent; and air, 3.6 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 84.8 percent of the total U.S.-NAFTA freight flows (Table 2).

U.S.-Canada Freight

Figure 2.  Percent Change in Value of U.S.-Canada Freight Flows by Mode: June 2014 - 2015

Table Version | Excel

Figure 2.  Percent Change in Value of U.S.-Canada Freight Flows by Mode: June 2014 - 2015

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, TransBorder Freight Data

The value of U.S.-Canada freight totaled $52.0 billion in June 2015, down 10.3 percent from June 2014, as all modes of transportation carried a lower value of U.S.-Canada freight than a year earlier. A recession in Canada likely contributed to the decrease of U.S.-Canada freight flows.

Lower mineral fuel prices contributed to a year-over-year decrease in the value of rail freight, down 11.7 percent. Mineral fuels are a large share of freight carried by vessel, which was down 21.7 percent year-over-year, and pipeline, down 41.0 percent (Figure 2, Table 3).

Trucks carried 59.7 percent of the $52.0 billion of freight to and from Canada, followed by rail, 15.2 percent; pipeline, 8.8 percent; vessel, 5.4 percent; and air, 4.3 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 83.7 percent of the total U.S.-Canada freight flows (Table 3).

U.S.-Mexico Freight

Figure 3.  Percent Change in Value of U.S.-Mexico Freight Flows by Mode: June 2014 - 2015

Table Version | Excel

Figure 3.  Percent Change in Value of U.S.-Mexico Freight Flows by Mode: June 2014 - 2015

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, TransBorder Freight Data

The value of U.S.-Mexico freight totaled $47.1 billion in June 2015, up 4.4 percent from June 2014, as three out of five transportation modes – truck, rail and air – carried more U.S.-Mexico freight than in June 2014. Year-over-year, the value of U.S.-Mexico truck freight rose 10.5 percent, the largest percentage increase of any mode. Freight carried by rail increased by 5.4 percent and freight by air increased by 0.6 percent. Pipeline freight decreased by 24.3 percent and vessel freight decreased by 26.1 percent, mainly due to lower mineral fuel prices (Figure 3, Table 4).

Trucks carried 70.8 percent of the $47.1 billion of freight to and from Mexico, followed by rail, 14.4 percent; vessel, 8.7 percent; air, 2.8 percent; and pipeline, 0.8 percent. The surface transportation modes of truck, rail and pipeline carried 86.0 percent of the total U.S.-Mexico freight flows (Table 4).

Commodities
In June 2015, the top commodity category for all modes transported between the U.S. and Canada was vehicles and parts, of which $5.8 billion, or 60.8 percent, moved by truck and $3.5 billion, or 36.6 percent, moved by rail (Figure 4). Vehicles and parts replaced mineral fuels as the top commodity in March 2015 and continues to be the top commodity for a fourth straight month. The top commodity category for all modes transported between the U.S. and Mexico in June 2015 was vehicles and parts, of which $4.7 billion, or 51.8 percent, moved by truck and $3.8 billion, or 41.7 percent, moved by rail (Figure 5).

Reporting Notes
BTS press releases and the BTS website define surface transportation modes as truck, rail and pipeline. See North American TransBorder Freight Data on the BTS website for additional data for surface modes since 1995 and all modes since 2004. The category of all modes of transportation cited in the following tables includes freight movements by truck, rail, vessel, pipeline, air, other and unknown modes of transport. 

Data in this press release are not seasonally adjusted and are not adjusted for inflation. Additional summary data adjusted for inflation and exchange rates can be found on the BTS website under TransBorder Indexed Freight Flow Data. The BLS indexes used in the adjustments for inflation and exchange rates June be revised in each of the three months after original publication. For more information, see TransBorder Press Releases for previous press releases and summary tables. See TransBorder Freight Data for data from previous months, and more state, port, or commodity data. BTS has scheduled the release of July TransBorder numbers for Sept. 29.

See BTS Transborder Data Release

 

Table 1. Value of Monthly U.S.-NAFTA Freight Flows

(millions of current dollars)

Month 2013 2014 2015 Percent Change 2013-2014 Percent Change 2014-2015
January 90,766 90,326 89,258 -0.5 -1.2
February 88,894 89,557 85,723 0.7 -4.3
March 95,757 101,478 96,070 6.0 -5.3
April 98,956 100,141 93,327 1.2 -6.8
May 98,742 103,942 92,707 5.3 -10.8
June 93,502 102,978 99,030 10.1 -3.8
July 93,080 101,075   8.6  
August 96,426 100,624   4.4  
September 94,465 102,245   8.2  
October 103,140 108,243   4.9  
November 96,136 96,252   0.1  
December 90,906 95,811   5.4  
Year-to-date 566,617 588,422 556,115 3.8 -5.5
Annual 1,140,770 1,192,671   4.5  

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, TransBorder Freight Data, http://transborder.bts.gov/transborder/

Note: Numbers may not add to totals due to rounding. Percent change based on numbers prior to rounding.

 

Table 2. Value of Monthly U.S.-NAFTA Freight Flows by Mode of Transportation

(millions of current dollars)

Mode   June 2014 June 2015 Percent Change June 2014-2015
All Modes Imports 55,323 53,799 -2.8
Exports 47,656 45,231 -5.1
Total 102,978 99,030 -3.8
All Surface Modes Imports 46,435 46,853 0.9
Exports 38,395 37,120 -3.3
Total 84,830 83,973 -1.0
Truck Imports 29,794 33,155 11.3
Exports 31,432 31,192 -0.8
Total 61,226 64,346 5.1
Rail Imports 9,809 9,680 -1.3
Exports 5,600 5,032 -10.1
Total 15,409 14,712 -4.5
Pipeline Imports 6,831 4,019 -41.2
Exports 1,363 896 -34.3
Total 8,195 4,914 -40.0
Vessel Imports 5,403 3,893 -28.0
Exports 3,710 3,001 -19.1
Total 9,114 6,894 -24.4
Air Imports 1,549 1,411 -8.9
Exports 2,334 2,125 -9.0
Total 3,884 3,537 -8.9

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, TransBorder Freight Data, http://transborder.bts.gov/transborder/

Notes: Numbers might not add to totals due to rounding. Percent changes based on numbers prior to rounding. The value of trade for all modes is not equal to the sum of truck, rail, pipeline, vessel and air modes, it also includes shipments made by mail, foreign trade zones, and other transportation. For additional detail, please refer to the “Data Fields” section of the TransBorder web page: http://transborder.bts.gov/programs/international/transborder/TBDR_DataFields.html.

 

Table 3. Value of Monthly U.S.-Canada Freight Flows by Mode of Transportation

(millions of current dollars)

Mode   June 2014 June 2015 Percent Change June 2014-2015
All Modes Imports 30,323 27,208 -10.3
Exports 27,580 24,747 -10.3
Total 57,903 51,955 -10.3
All Surface Modes Imports 25,866 23,457 -9.3
Exports 21,897 20,040 -8.5
Total 47,763 43,496 -8.9
Truck Imports 13,126 14,161 7.9
Exports 17,958 16,865 -6.1
Total 31,084 31,026 -0.2
Rail Imports 5,926 5,299 -10.6
Exports 3,035 2,618 -13.8
Total 8,961 7,917 -11.7
Pipeline Imports 6,814 3,997 -41.3
Exports 904 557 -38.5
Total 7,718 4,554 -41.0
Vessel Imports 1,907 1,708 -10.4
Exports 1,685 1,106 -34.4
Total 3,592 2,814 -21.7
Air Imports 1,002 872 -13.0
Exports 1,575 1,350 -14.3
Total 2,577 2,222 -13.8

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, TransBorder Freight Data, http://transborder.bts.gov/transborder/

Notes: Numbers might not add to totals due to rounding. Percent changes based on numbers prior to rounding. The value of trade for all modes is not equal to the sum of truck, rail, pipeline, vessel and air modes, it also includes shipments made by mail, foreign trade zones, and other transportation. For additional detail, please refer to the “Data Fields” section of the TransBorder web page: http://transborder.bts.gov/programs/international/transborder/TBDR_DataFields.html.

 

Figure 4. Top Commodity Transported between the U.S. and Canada for Each Mode of Transportation, June 2015

(billions of current dollars)

Table Version | Excel

Figure 4. Top Commodity Transported between the U.S. and Canada for Each Mode of Transportation, June 2015

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, TransBorder Freight Data
NOTE: Numbers might not add to totals due to rounding.

 

Table 4. Value of Monthly U.S.-Mexico Freight Flows by Mode of Transportation

(millions of current dollars)

Mode   June 2014 June 2015 Percent Change June 2014-2015
All Modes Imports 24,999 26,591 6.4
Exports 20,076 20,484 2.0
Total 45,075 47,075 4.4
All Surface Modes Imports 20,570 23,397 13.7
Exports 16,498 17,080 3.5
Total 37,067 40,477 9.2
Truck Imports 16,669 18,994 13.9
Exports 13,474 14,327 6.3
Total 30,143 33,320 10.5
Rail Imports 3,883 4,381 12.8
Exports 2,565 2,414 -5.9
Total 6,448 6,796 5.4
Pipeline Imports 18 22 22.8
Exports 459 339 -26.1
Total 477 361 -24.3
Vessel Imports 3,497 2,184 -37.5
Exports 2,026 1,896 -6.4
Total 5,522 4,080 -26.1
Air Imports 548 540 -1.5
Exports 759 775 2.1
Total 1,307 1,315 0.6

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, TransBorder Freight Data, http://transborder.bts.gov/transborder/

Notes: Numbers might not add to totals due to rounding. Percent changes based on numbers prior to rounding. The value of trade for all modes is not equal to the sum of truck, rail, pipeline, vessel and air modes, it also includes shipments made by mail, foreign trade zones, and other transportation. For additional detail, please refer to the “Data Fields” section of the TransBorder web page: http://transborder.bts.gov/programs/international/transborder/TBDR_DataFields.html.

 

Figure 5. Top Commodity Transported between the U.S. and Mexico for Each Mode of Transportation, June 2015

Table Version | Excel

Figure 5. Top Commodity Transported between the U.S. and Mexico for Each Mode of Transportation, June 2015

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, TransBorder Freight Data
NOTE: Numbers might not add to totals due to rounding.